Once most parents try cloth diapers, they fall in love with them and it's hard for them not to tell everyone just how much they love this great alternative to disposables. There are some who try them and hate them for one reason or another--I know of a few--but most of us love them and turn our backs on disposables without giving them another thought. We automatically become cloth diaper advocates without even trying. In fact, word-of-mouth seems to have been the most successful way that the cloth diaper market has grown and exploded since most cloth diaper companies were started by WAHMs (work at home moms) who didn't have a budget large enough to compete with disposable diaper companies and their advertising campaigns. One mom (or dad) told another and with news this good, it just spread like wildfire! Most of us who cloth diaper just can't keep our mouths shut about the chemical-free, money-saving, gentle, and green way to diaper our babies. We advocate cloth diapers without even thinking about it.
Here are some ways that I've found to advocate cloth diapers, and most of them have required little or no effort on my part:
- Use them. Use them at home. Use them in public. Put them on when you go to your child's pediatrician. When you use cloth diapers, people notice. You get questions, interest from other parents, and it offers a great opportunity to gently educate them about something that can save our planet, their wallet, and their baby's gentle skin.
- Blog about them. Okay, for some of you, this might require effort, but it never did for me. I loved reading other blogs that discussed cloth diapers and deciding which ones I should use, how best to wash and care for them, and links to great deals. I soon found myself blogging about using cloth diapers and even posting pictures and tutorials of how to sew my own and eventually making them and selling them on my own Etsy shop. I just couldn't help myself. My husband also loves cloth diapers but he thought that my excessive obsession with them bordered on crazy and he never went so far as to start a blog about them, though I have heard him telling people on a couple of occasions how much money we've saved by using them!
- Give them as gifts. A gift of even just one cloth diaper added to a baby shower present is a great way to gently introduce cloth diapering to a new parent. Chances are, they'll try the diaper because, “Why not?” and many of them will love it and start buying their own. I started cloth diapering because someone gave me three bumGenius diapers and I never went back once I tried them. It was such a gentle way to take care of my new baby that the other option seemed repulsive to me. Also, I really appreciated not having to buy them from week to week once I established my stash.
- Tell people. Now I'm not saying go out there and “evangelize,” but I often casually mention how I have a load of cloth diapers in the wash or how I just sewed a new cloth diaper for a friend. If people are interested, they'll ask about them. If they think I'm crazy, they'll either smile and nod, or say so.
- Consign them. From what I hear, whenever there have been cloth diapers consigned to a local used clothing shop, they sell like hotcakes and at a good resale price. I know this because I heard rumors of such diapers on more than one occasion and arrived too late to be able to get any of my own. In any case, what better way to introduce someone to cloth diapers than by putting them in a consignment shop where a newbie may find a good stash starter on the cheap.
- Share deals on Facebook (or Twitter, or whichever social network you prefer). Anytime I find a great deal on diapers somewhere that I feel a couple of friends on Facebook might be interested in, I share the link.
- Enter photo contests and ask friends to vote for your little cutie pie. Even if no one decides to cloth diaper by visiting the cloth diaper retailer to vote for your baby, you'll gain some votes and you might win some awesome new fluff to add to your stash.
- Leave cloth diapers with your babysitter or daycare provider rather than disposables. I always leave the easiest diapers with my daycare or sitter and give a short lesson before leaving them. Sometimes people don't like them (I leave them anyway), sometimes they love them, and once in awhile I'll find the diaper on backwards or way too loose…either way, the word gets spread.
In my small little group of mom friends, I know a lot of people who cloth diaper. I can't say that any of them do it because of me, I don't know that, but I do know that having someone to talk to about cloth diapers and what works for them gives me the courage to try out new things, so I assume it words that way for others as well. I have one friend in particular who uses them and also dabbles in sewing her own and we've both sewn cloth diapers for our kids and then sent a couple each other's way. Also, I do know of other friends, family, and acquaintances who are seriously considering cloth diapers for their future families after observing me and others using them successfully.
So, how do you tell people about cloth diapers? Have you found any ways other than the ones I listed above?